if you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas

An assertion that human failings, such as dishonesty and foolishness, are contagious. Cf. L. qui cum canibus concumbunt cum puliacibus surgent, they who lie with dogs will rise with fleas.

1573 J. SANFORDE Garden of Pleasure 103v Chi va dormir con i cani, si leua con i pulici. He that goeth to bedde wyth Dogges, aryseth with fleas.

1640 G. HERBERT Outlandish Proverbs no. 343 Hee that lies with the dogs, riseth with fleas.

1721 J. KELLY Scottish Proverbs 129 He that sleeps with Dogs, must rise with Fleas. If you keep Company with base and unworthy Fellows, you will get some Ill by them.

1791 ‘P. PINDAR’ Rights of Kings 32 To this great truth, a Universe agrees, ‘He who lies down with dogs, will rise with fleas’.

1842 C. J. LEVER Jack Hinton xxii. If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas, and that’s the fruits of travelling with a fool.

1991 Spectator 9 Nov. 8 I have few genial feelings towards the Sunday Times, and it is possible that I was thinking of its editor when I wrote..of the danger that those who lie with dogs will rise with fleas.

1996 Washington Post 26 Feb. B2 [W]e do well to bear in mind three axioms so hoary that their essential truth may no longer be adequately grasped. The first is ‘He who lies down with dogs rises with fleas.’

Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • get — see you cannot get blood from a stone be careful what you pray for, you might get it if you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen if you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas don’t get mad, get even …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • lie — noun see a lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on ask no questions and hear no lies half the truth is often a whole lie verb see if you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas as you make your bed, so …   Proverbs new dictionary

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  • flea — see big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite them, and little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum if you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas nothing should be done in haste but gripping a flea …   Proverbs new dictionary

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